No, I have not become a Chariots of the Gods crackpot, this despite the fact that I’m officially going to live forever.
I took advantage of an existing sick headache to kick my six-cups-a-day coffee habit, figuring the withdrawal symptoms would get lost in the overall pain. In the aftermath, I am dewy, energetic, and brimming with smugness.
This led to my skipping the planned adventure in Swedish meatballs in favor of researching which fruits have the highest levels of antioxidants in order to construct a salad that would allow me to be the smuggest woman on the planet.
Fry’s didn’t have a mangosteen. And I didn’t have the spare week in my calendar needed to dismember a pomegranate.
The band to accompany this endeavor is Ancient Astronauts, a German funk/hip-hop duo that I found by exploring groovemine‘s indie music site. The site has its own freebie mp3 playlist, and it also offers free mp3s organized by record label. (I pay for music, but I appreciate free samples.) Lefse Records was the obvious label to cook with (lefse is what Norwegians use as the wrapping for herring tacos), and thus I found the Ancient Astronauts. Let’s go to their MySpace Music page and give the sound a virtual spin while I contemplate what a woman who lives alone does with four pounds of strawberries.
Answer: put 3.5 pounds in ziplock bags in the freezer. I did not take time to remove hulls in the recommended manner, as the berries were doing that conspiratorial berry thing where as soon as you think “I’ll eat some of these later,” they pass the signal “Commence aggressive rot!”
“Classic,” the first track on the MySpace Music feed answers the pressing question: “What ever happened to The Pharcyde?” (Answer: it commenced aggressive rot circa 1995.) In all honesty, I didn’t know this question needed to be asked, as my appreciation of hip-hop is still new and relatively uninformed. BMF (Before Michael Franti), I had the misconception that all hip-hop went roughly like this:
I’m in da ghe-TTO.
I be pimpin’ mah HO.
Watcha wanna wanna KNOW?
I be bettah den u at dis,
Bettah den boo at dis,
Bustin’ mah rhymes can’t miss.
Cops gonna let me slide
‘Cause I be pimpin’ mah ride.
I be dah most bona fide.
Shock dah monkey!
Not quite so. While I can’t quite get into the irregular beat I keep stumbling over (literally) in East Coast hip-hop, I find a lot to like in the word play and general silliness that sometimes comes up with West Coast hip-hop. Some neuroscientists now think that when we repeat a new experience, we gradually learn how to appreciate it, which may explain why my parents were so damned persistent with the vegetables.
Looks like one escaped the carnage. Shall we chase it with a sharp knife or let it live?
While I was attempting to construct a clever name for mitteleuropäisch hip-hop, Wikipedia sidled up, goosed me, and explained that German hip-hop dates to the 1980s and yes, they already thought of “Krauts with attitude.”
No way am I attempting to slice blackberries. They fight back. That’s one baccate to leave in its natural state.
Note that the blueberries had also passed the signal. Blueberries hate to be behind the trend.
Ancient Astronauts duo Kabanjak and Dogu are not rappin’ about the gritty underside of life in Cologne’s insurance and mass media industries. The act lives up to its name by infusing its funk/hip-hop blend with atmospheric, outerspace, and World Beat vibes. Far from demonstrating the aggressive rhyme schemes and beat that I associate with U.S. hip-hop, the sound is close to being brunch music, if you make a habit of brunching in rehabilitated warehouses that now offer organic omelets and sheet-metal art.
In fact, let’s interrupt the MySpace feed for a Youtube of Ancient Astronauts performing at a venue with the right exposed-brick walls, Momo’s of Austin, Texas.
I’m feeling an almost 1960s retro vibe to some of the instrumentals, reminiscent of Herb Alpert‘s go-go take on the Third Man Theme. So while we’re here:
Yes, I know if we’re talking about that Third Man, it’s set in Vienna, which is in Austria, not Germany. But the two countries are adjacent to each other, they were on the same side in World War II, and they both have troubling Turkish minorities. I sense a conspiracy.
A retro feel demands a retro salad dressing, but I’m not in the mood to do perverse things to cream cheese. All fruit salad dressings of the 1960s started with cream cheese. There’s a reason people back then drank so many cocktails before dinner. I’m thinking more along the lines of the basic yogurt-spice-citrus dressing that works with everything.
Plain yogurt was available only in half gallons, a quantity that would require I bathe in it to use it up. Starting with French vanilla just means I skip adding sugar and vanilla.
All I need to add is a jolt of orange juice and about a half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
Back at MySpace, the tracks get ever prettier. I’m now curious about the many collaborations of one of the featured singers, Bajka, who may yet be the person to sell me on jazz. A quick round of footsie with Google led me to a Music Aloud review that says Ancient Astronauts’ 2009 album, “We Are to Answer,” is constructed around the concept of astronauts visiting the earth and partying a little.
Now that’s nuts.
This was luscious. It was so luscious that it calls for closing with one of the most wildly atmospheric tracks.
In the batting order: an indie artist with a cookie on his album cover… more Southern cooking… and?